Scientists in New Zealand say cravings for high-GI (glycaemic index) foods could be a response to addiction.
Kiwi researchers are investigating whether cravings for sweet foods mirror those of other substances deemed scientifically addictive.
In a study published in 2008 in the journal Medical Hypotheses, focus was directed on understanding issues surrounding the automatic nature of eating.
Drawing on anecdotal evidence suggesting withdrawal symptoms ensue when we abstain from high-GI foods such as cakes, biscuits, juices and processed fast foods, the researchers believe "similar neurotransmitters and neural pathways [are] triggered by food consumption, as with other drugs of addiction."
The study defines addiction as a state whereby "loss of control is central".
Although they believe likening cravings for high-GI addiction as akin to drug addiction is taking the analogy too far, researchers argue unhealthy sugar and fat-laden foods are consumed because they are addictive, ABC News reported earlier this year.